Question: Our dining room walls are covered with a sunshine-yellow velvet, our round dining room table is skirted to the floor in a glazed chintz fabric. The chintz's pattern has full-blown pink and lavender roses with emerald leaves against a pale-yellow background. What type of floor covering would work best in this room? I have mahogany-stained floors. I'd also like to replace the ordinary Queen Anne wood chairs that I've lived with all my life.
Answer: First of all, your sunshine-yellow walls sound super; I hope all the trim is crisp white. I would also suggest you hang a lovely hand-painted wood-framed mirror over a beautiful Chippendale sideboard.
As for the rug, I would select a dhurrie that picks up the colors in your table skirt. The dining room chairs can be those same old Queen Anne chairs, but give them a new look--lacquer them bright pink. Cover the seat pads with a coordinating pin stripe of lavender, pink and white.
Q: I would like to redo my living room. I have a floral sofa of rust and sky blue that I will continue to use, but am not sure what other colors should be used with it. Any suggestions you might offer for new carpeting, draperies, chairs and paint will be greatly appreciated.
A: I would select a warm champagne-beige carpeting, and I would paint all the walls a very soft sky blue. A clear, light color would work best here, and in order to make certain the color is clear, test a section of the wall with the paint first. Remember: Once dried, a light paint color will be darker than the color you see when you open the can. Dark colors, on the other hand, appear lighter after they've dried.
For draperies, choose a white linen, trimmed with a braid of rust and sky blue. Your window valance, if you have one, should be sky blue to match your walls, and the valance can be lined in rust.
For club chairs, try a striped fabric; there's such a variety to choose from right now. You might consider a rust, apple-green and gold stripe or a rust, champagne-beige and white stripe, or you could choose a rust, apple-green and champagne stripe.
Accent your sofa with an assortment of throw pillows: some made of the stripe you've selected, and some made of a flowered chintz that matches your sofa. That same chintz can be used on a wing chair or an ottoman.
Q: I just moved into a new apartment, and everything in it is off-white and beige. I want to brighten up my living room. The carpet is beige, the walls are off-white, and my sofa and love seat are beige. What color should I use for my draperies?
A: On a brass pole with brass rings, use a print fabric of peach, salmon, green and soft blue on a chocolate background for the draperies. Then paint the walls a rich milk-chocolate color with white trim. Paint your ceiling a very soft peach or salmon color. Pillow accents on your sofa can be a combination of soft blues and salmons. And you might even throw in a pillow or two of a chocolate and cream stripe.